MADRID - Spanish twins who were separated at birth through a hospital error and reunited as adult women through a fluke are suing for millions.

The women finally met each other in 2001. The case has been working its way through the courts since 2004, and a ruling on possible damages is expected soon, said Sebastian Socorro Perdomo, a lawyer for one of the twins.

He would not identify the women, who are 35.

Socorro Perdomo said his client is seeking $4.7 million from the government of the Canary Islands, where the error occurred in 1973 in a state-run hospital in the city of Las Palmas.

He said his client had been taken out of her crib as her twin sister lay in one right next to her, and had been mistakenly replaced by another baby girl and ultimately raised by the family of that child.

The one twin and her presumed biological sister were brought up in the mistaken belief that they were twins. The twin sisters and the presumed twin all are suing - making three lawsuits in all.

Of the three, Socorro Perdomo said his client - taken away from her twin sister and real family - is the most devastated.

"The first right of any child is the right to their own personal and family identity," he said. "In this case, that right has been violated."

The error emerged a generation later, through a chance encounter at a clothing store in Las Palmas.

A friend of Socorro Perdomo's client worked in the shop. When a woman who was the spitting image of that client came in and failed to recognize the employee, the clerk was dumbfounded.

When the dead-ringer came by the store a second time, the clerk began to put two and two together and arranged for the women to meet.

DNA tests proved they were identical twins, the lawyer said. *